Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Happy New Year   1 comment

 

To our family and friends,

As has been Lana’s and my custom at the end of each passing year, we look back and reflect on the happenings of the past 12 months and look forward with hope to the year ahead.

We are still blessed to be leading “traveling lives”. Lana continues to commute each Monday morning from Seattle down to Orange County and returns home on Thursday evening. She is now in her 26th year in the securities and financial planning business. She has weekend work functions every six weeks or so and I will usually go down to So Cal for the weekend on these occasions. I continue in and enjoy my job as an operations manager for a fire sprinkler systems supplier and fabricator to the trade.

Sprinkled amongst our work travel in 2009 was our annual trip to Spring Training in Phoenix (we love the “get close to the players” atmosphere and $20 box seats), Memorial Day and early December visits to Dallas to spend time with family, and an 8 day July driving and hiking tour in Alaska. We loved this trip. The wildlife, vistas, and calving glaciers were simply awe inspiring. My camera bug wife took over 1,100 pictures! I thought I would need to call all the media outlets when she saw her first moose!

Even with our travels, it is always great to come back to the Seattle area. The Puget Sound, downtown skyline, Olympic and Cascade Mountains are welcoming sites out the airplane window. We continue to find time to enjoy our friendships here and just being at home.

We wish each one of you a blessed 2010!

Steve and Lana

Posted January 2, 2010 by Lana G! in Family, Home, New Year, Photo, Thoughts, Travel

Tuesday In Other Words   12 comments

 

This week, Heather is hosting “In ‘Other’ Words” at her site, Titus 2 Woman. She has chosen a quote by Jeremiah Olson:

“Momma prayed, momma cried, momma laid awake at night.
She would fight my battles while I slept away
Cause momma knew life is hard
without somebody on your side
I don’t know how, but there is power in the way,
The way my momma prayed.”

Words and music by Jeremiah Olson of 40milesNorth

The words of this song remind me of the story of Samuel and Hannah in the Old Testament.  Hannah is Samuel’s mother and through the faithful, fervent prayers of Hannah, the Lord answers her prayer and her closed womb is opened and she bears a son – Samuel.  Hannah made a vow to God that if He would provide a son, she would give him to the Lord’s service and she did just that.

Hannah continued to pray for the boy and saw him once a year when they would come to offer the yearly sacrifice. Could you imagine!  You know this woman prayed for her boy every minute of the day and her prayers were answered.

1 Samuel 3:19 Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail.

Wow, what a testimony of sacrifice, dedication and faithfulness. I see that in my own parents as well.  There were so many times that I would walk by their bedroom and there they were on their knees praying.  They prayed for each and everyone of us kids and we knew it. 

Now, that is not to say that we were all angelic little prophets – far from it!  We were brats! But, today all eight of us kids can say that it was through the faithful prayers of our parents that we all know Jesus. 

My parents were not ashamed to pray with their bedroom door open so that we could see them.  They were bold in their prayers and they wanted to instill in each of us the importance of prayer.  We are a pretty close knit family and that is one of the things I so appreciate – we pray for each other. Here’s a picture of my mom and dad:

sunday-029-1_edited-1.jpg

So, pray for your kids. Let them see you praying for them and pray with them. 

For more In Other Words, head on over to Titus 2 Woman.

Posted February 18, 2008 by Lana G! in Faith, Family, In Other Words, Prayer, Quotes, Thoughts

Tuesday – In Other Words   7 comments

lady.jpg 

This week, Sarah is hosting “In ‘Other’ Words” at her site, To Motherhood and Beyond. Sarah has chosen a quote by Elisabeth Elliott. This week’s quote is:

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”

~ Elisabeth Elliott ~

My favorite line in this quote is “There is always time to do the will of God.”  The question is am I doing the will of God today?  That is when I must turn my day over to God and start asking Him what is His will for me today?  Open my eyes, ears and mouth for you today Lord.  Is there someone that needs to see the love of Jesus? Is there someone who needs a listening ear?  Is there someone who needs to hear a Good Word? 

I think busyness keeps us unaware of our surroundings.  Our surroundings are the people in our lives.  When we are too busy to see a need, hear the sadness in a voice and not respond, then it is time to hand over our busyness to God.  This is so hard to do in our fast paced world, yet so necessary. 

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Lord, may I do your will today and everyday till you take me home. May I spur someone on toward love and good deeds today.

For more thoughts on this quote, head on over to To Motherhood and Beyond.  Be blessed today.

 

Posted November 27, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible, In Other Words, Life, Quotes, Thoughts

Tuesday – In Other Words   9 comments

dscf4440.jpg 

“In our lives the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole, but they are just a small part of the big picture.”

~ Amy Grant~
Mosaic: Pieces of My Life so Far

Like Paul says, It’s all on where we fix our eyes…

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This quote describes our lives here on earth as we journey homeward.  The key is on where we have fixed our eyes.  What are we focusing on – the temporary or the eternal?  Are we focusing on the dark times that are just a small part of the big picture? Or are we focusing on the eternal glory that far outweighs our momentary troubles?  

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

This is my month of Thanksgiving and today I choose praise! Praise to my King who has it all under control! Praise to my God whom I trust. Praise to my Lord who is preparing a much better place than this!

Psalm 150:1 Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, 5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Let’s focus on the eternal shall we?

For more thoughts on this quote, head on over to Extravagant Grace

 

Posted November 6, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible, Faith, In Other Words, Quotes, Thoughts

The “Teen” Commandments   7 comments

dscf4608.jpg

Posted October 27, 2007 by Lana G! in Challenge, Encouragement, God, Life, Thoughts

My Brother – The Theologian   5 comments

dallas-2006-110.jpg 

My brother is a pastor and sends out an encouraging weekly e-mail to the men in his church.  I subscribe to it not only because he’s my brother, but he is a gifted theologian that inspires me to learn more about THE WORD. His latest e-mail has stopped me in my tracks and has me pondering and questioning my “hearing” and “philosophy”.  Read and think on it….

~What are you listening to?

There are many sources of information and influence that we “listen” to on a regular basis. Last week I talked about “wisdom” and it led me to look again at the wonderful book of Proverbs in the Scriptures. The first nine chapters form an introduction to the book, a strong plea to “listen” or “hear” the instruction of a father who is leading his sons to the truth of God’s way. Here is how the book opens:

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning. So the question is: “Who are you listening to?”

Occasionally when driving I will listen to the radio instead of the podcasts that I download. Here is a sampling of the stuff that I have heard on the radio:

I will leave the names of the programs out so we don’t get hung up on personalities…

  • A talk show host instructed a young man on how to manipulate his pregnant girlfriend into getting an abortion by feigning his love for her, telling her that he wanted to have children just not right now. After accomplishing his task, he would then “dump her.”
  • A sports talk show host said in reference to the steroid controversy in sports: “it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.”
  • An advertisement for pet health insurance where the ad literally equated having health insurance for your pet with health insurance for your children. They are just as much a part of the family…
  • Several Bible teachers who misunderstand Christian doctrine, mis-use the Bible, try and use Greek language references and fail miserably because they don’t know the language…and one prominent well known Bible teacher slander a whole group of other Christians. I heard a Bible teacher call other Christians uninformed about what the Bible teaches and then used a hymn to back his main point up. (someone has said the most dangerous place for a Christian is the Christian book store, the same may be true of Christian radio…beware of what you hear on the radio)

Sometimes the things we listen to in our modern culture are mixed up and confused and the wise man demonstrates discernment in rejecting those foolish perspectives. But that is not the only source of our “hearing.” Many of us are listening to our own selves. We have formulated a philosophy of life, a view of the world and how it works, and we live by that “doctrine” over and above everything else. We may have learned this from our father, our friends…most likely we accumulated this “philosophy” over time and we really don’t know where we got it. This philosophy affects everything: our perspective about life and people; our self-image and identity; our attitude and character. That is why Solomon took great pains to pass on wisdom to his son. I call it brainwashing. I like that word, it helped me to understand that it was a process. I wanted to pass on to my kids the right set of perspectives on life and living. Brainwashing made me think about how I did that. It also made me think about my own brain/mind.

So we end up with ideas and attitudes, beliefs and opinions that have nothing to do with truth, and nothing to do with Christianity, and it matters. It makes a difference. It makes a difference in our demeanor, behavior, speech and values. It plays out in our homes and workplaces. Our job as men is to examine the fortress of our mind to make sure that it is sound. It guards our soul and our home.

So again, I ask you, what are you listening to?

Here is advice from Paul:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
 

I am praying for you, ~

I am praying for you too my brother.  Love you!

Posted October 22, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible, Thoughts

Tuesdays – In Other Words   9 comments

 

“If we could understand everything God does, then He’d have to be a small god–small enough to fit in our little minds.

~ Randy Alcorn ~

 

 The following verses came to mind when I read this quote:

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

The problem is, we want answers. We want to know why.  We want to know the plan.  We want to be in control and when we can’t be in control we fuss and whine.  I think the reason that we want control is deep down we have a trust problem.  We don’t trust that God has our best interest in mind because we don’t fully understand him.  We can’t put God in a neat little package. He’s not predictable.  If we were truly honest we would admit that God is scarey and because He is scarey it is hard to trust Him. 

But, scripture reminds us that because God is one to be feared, the only one to be feared, He is the one to be trusted:

Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Phil 2:12-13 (NIV) …continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Ps 118:4 (NIV) Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom which shows us His love and that love is our hope.

I read this quote and I am not sure who wrote it, but I like it:

“Our world is… longing to see people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender… and ours; a God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He longs to whisper those terrifying words, ‘I love you.'”

For more thoughts on this quote, head on over to Joy in the Morning

Posted September 25, 2007 by Lana G! in In Other Words, Quotes, Thoughts